The Australian Radiation Protection Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is the government agency which sets the standard limits for human exposure to radiation. ARPANSA’s fact sheet 14 "How to reduce exposure from mobile phones and other wireless devices" (Updated June 2013) states “the technology is very new and it’s impossible to be completely sure there isn’t some risk. This is particularly true for children where there is little research evidence.”
APANSA's recent fact sheet (March 2015) continues to state that "it’s impossible to be completely sure there isn’t some risk. This is particularly true for children where there is little research evidence". This fact sheet provides practical advice on "things one can do to substantially reduce exposure".
It’s time for Australian parents, caregivers, teachers, students and the wider community to pay attention to the warnings about the health risks from exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from wireless technologies. Education authorities need to urgently evaluate the long-term risks and take effective precautionary steps to help reduce exposure to children and staff.
Please get informed. Please Take Action... Our children and future generations need adults to act NOW to protect their health, well being and their environment.
Video about DETE Queensland recent publications on the safe use of technology
In 2011 the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), classified all radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” - wireless technologies are now considered as a possible cancer causing agent. More info in The Lancet indicating how this applies to all radio frequency electromagnetic fields.
View this 18 minute video for the main facts about WiFi in schools .
WiFi technology has not been proven to be safe for long term use, yet wireless infrastructure has been mandated in schools across Australia - exposing our children unnecessarily to electromagnetic radiation for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week.
As parents, caregivers, students, teachers and the wider community we need to manage these risks to children effectively by taking preventative, precautionary measures. Given the push towards IT based teaching and learning, it may be uncomfortable for some to question the use of wireless technologies in the classroom. However, taking the precautionary approach and using safer wired options does not have to hinder IT based teaching and learning.
We cannot afford to bury our heads in the sand and hope that this issue does not unfold into a devastating situation in 10-20 years. We have to look at the implications of using wireless technology in an unsafe manner and collectively decide if we want to take these risks.
We are responsible to our children and for what they will inherit from the actions (or inaction) of today's society.
WiFi in Schools Australia
WiFi in Schools Australia is made up of parents who have researched the scientific literature on the biological effects of EMR and also the background to the ongoing debate. Parents volunteer their time and donate their skills to help raise awareness on the implications of schools using wireless technology. More info here.
WiFi in Schools Australia hopes to provide a starting point for Australian parents, caregivers, students, teachers and the wider community to become informed about the potential health effects from long term use of wireless technologies. We urge immediate precautionary measures until long term exposure has been proven to be harmless.
WiFi in Schools Australia fully supports the use of technology, computers and the internet for education in schools. We also believe that schools have a duty of care and need to provide a safe learning environment for all children. We believe that schools should not expose our children unnecessarily to the long-term health risks from the use of wireless technologies. In order to minimise exposure to wireless radiation, we favour wired communications as a safer option until there is conclusive evidence that there are no harmful effects from long-term use. We call for Australian Schools: Stop Exposing Children to Radiation from WiFi and 3G until long-term exposure is proven harmless.
- There are NO scientific studies on Wi-Fi which look into long-term biological effects on children or adults
- Parents, students and teachers have not been informed about the potential health risks from EMR
- Parents, students and teachers have not been consulted about wireless installation in schools
- There have been no risk assessments conducted by schools, the government or standard setting agencies on the long-term biological effects of WiFi use in schools
- There is no management plan to reduce EMR exposure in schools
- There is no training for teachers and staff or awareness about how to be able to recognise any adverse symptoms in children from exposure to electromagnetic radiation
- Despite the known risks wireless technologies are installed without any radiation emissions checks in each specific site where they are installed in the school
- Ambient EMR is the only environmental pollutant that is not subject to any regulation
- Students, parents and staff have not been given a freedom of choice should they not want to be exposed to wireless radiation in schools
- All children have the right to a safe learning environment
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”